Operators not taking current situation lightly, says William Hill director

By Iqbal Johal

Operators are not taking the current situation brought about by the coronavirus pandemic lightly and are very much focused on player protection, according to a panellist from William Hill.

Speaking at payments day of the SBC Digital Summit, William Hill AML group director Steven Armstrong said player information is key in this current period so operators are aware what could lead to a change in behavior.

He said: "It’s important for us to know personal information such as if someone has been furloughed from a long-term job which might change their behavior and lead them to play a different product or for more hours than usual.

"Knowing their situation allows us to manage their and all that data collected is so vital for us to make that decision. The pandemic has heighted the need for such information but operators should be doing this anyway."

Armstrong also praised the industry after it was announced this week members of the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) in the UK have agreed to no longer advertise on TV or radio during the lockdown. He added that the industry needs to come together during this current crisis.

"There has been a lot more focus on player checks from the industry during this time. We always react to bad news in the industry, but the work I’ve seen with us and from other members – including those of the BGC - shows we haven’t taken this situation lightly.

"We’re certainly not taking advantage, if anything it’s hitting us hard. We’re a hibernating sports business and it will return which will give us a chance to refresh but other operators don’t have that luxury and it will still be hitting them hard over the head. As an industry we need to come together to make sure the customers are protected during this period.

"What we’re really looking at is if a player’s situation has changed and if they are now looking at gambling to make ends meet."

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